UNALAKLEET—I, sometimes I think very foolishly, am on Twitter and open the app multiple times a day to see what’s going on in the world. I don’t have television, so I get a bulk of my news from the feed. I also follow to keep up with Native Twitter – a community of indigenous peoples who share their ideas, experiences, thoughts, humor and existence on the social medium.
I also follow the 45th President of the United States of America. And, every other day, I tell myself I need to log off forever because of the discord this person is creating in the world. On Twitter. The fear he places on me and my family. On Twitter. The anxiety he causes my adult children, nieces and nephews. On Twitter. And yet, I remain.
I remain to stay informed. If we are ignorant of the inequalities, the experiences of the marginalized and the decisions by those in power, our ignorance only empowers the elected and wealthy to continue defeating, demeaning and dehumanizing those who are not privileged. It allows greedy lawmakers to continue making decisions that harm my community and communities like mine who seek equality.
I remain because I trust journalists to fulfill their important task – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The task to give voice and validation the powerful try to blanket quiet. To bring truth to injustices the powerful try to slip in unnoticed. To keep watch on a government that has a history of creating policy that harms, devalues, steals and kills the minority.
Yes, more often than not, I switch from Twitter to Instagram feeling without hope and powerless to a human being and a machine that cares more about ego, money and power than the people and country they’re supposed to be serving. I feel without the strength to address the way our government is merely being used as a tool for the powerful to rid their insecurities by enacting hurtful and harmful policy and legislation.
And yet I remain. To stay informed. Not only of the harm, damage and death these people are hellbent on creating. But to see the fire. The collective fire of the browns, blacks, queer, women and young people who have the burn inside of them to share their truths. To share their anger. Their fear. Their love. Their passion. Their art. Their words. Their work.
And I equate the elevation of their voices to something as far away as you can get from the world of the internet, tweets, hashtags, influence and followers.
Every fire needs air. Twitter provides that air. Twitter provides the space. So I show up. So please keep at it. Keep talking. Keep writing. Keep posting. Seeing your fire helps to keep mine from being snuffed out. Your light shines and empowers us all to let ours shine, too. Your truth gives me courage to share my truths. Your experience brings validation and commonality to those who feel alone.
I still don’t know how to use Twitter, but please, keep the fire burning.